The church needs to run — not walk — to the yellow areas on this map.
Half of the world’s population lives in the yellow. Here’s an explanation of how the map was shaped, along with some other helpful info. It’s a cool map. But I’m a nerd for maps. As I looked at this one, I couldn’t help but think one thing in particular:
Is the church sprinting to the yellow?
For decades now, churches have fled major cities. I think that has been a reversing trend in recent years, and that’s good. Church folk are bad about lamenting the godless state of our urban centers, but we do so to our own condemnation. After all, perhaps if the church hadn’t fled the cities they wouldn’t be in such a sad moral state to begin with.
In addition to the American implications of this map, I also thought of the global implications. For example, while the yellow areas represent 50% of the world population, 46% of global population is in the yellow portions of just three countries: India, Bangladesh, and China.
Have you ever been to India, Bangladesh, or China?
Do you support any ministries — orphan care, clean water initiatives, church planting, etc. — in any of those countries? Have you ever met someone from one of those countries and learned their story? When was the last time you prayed for those countries?
Let me say this again, just as a challenge to every reader: If half the world lives in these yellow areas, the church should be running as fast as we can to these regions.
There is good work going on in the yellow, but not a proportionate amount of work. I’m from a small town, love small towns, support work going on in rural areas, etc. I’m not saying we should neglect anyone — any country, region, people group, etc. Whether you live in the yellow or not, you need Jesus. I get that.
But no where near half of our global ministry effort is being poured into half the population. A minuscule percentage of resources (people, finance, etc.) go to reaching unreached people groups, the vast majority of which reside in India and adjacent nations. The nation with the most people without a Bible in their language is China…another country on the map that is densely populated.
I don’t have all the answers, but I’m stunned by the question. What is the church doing to reach the world? It may be easier than you think — move to, support work in, and pray for the yellow areas on this map.
Don’t walk. Run.